The Encyclopedia of Molecular Gastronomy, or “Modernist Cuisine”

source: The New York Times

The New York Times’ Michael Ruhlman reviewed the just released Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, the 6 volume encyclopedia of molecular gastronomy self-published by Nathan Myhrvold.  It was a labor of love costing a reported $1 to $10 million and taking 5 years to assemble.

I hope to get a look at it, though I doubt I would be able to replicate any of the 1500 recipes involving the laboratory style cooking techniques and industrial tools.

Michael Ruhlman describes Modernist Cuisine as a manifesto of the revolution that is the molecular gastronomy movement:

Ultimately, it is a manifesto declaring that the new form of laboratory-inspired cooking — led by Grant Achatz in the United States; Heston Blumenthal in England; and Ferran Adrià, the father of this cuisine, in Spain — is a cultural and artistic movement every bit as definitive as Impressionism in 19th-century France or Bauhaus in early 20th-century Germany. It proclaims a revolution “in techniques, aesthetics and intellectual underpinnings of gastronomy.”

You don’t have to be a kitchen wizard to appreciate the fantastical and beautiful photographs of food featured in the book set, as excerpted in the slide show linked here:

Capturing ‘Modernist Cuisine’ – Slide Show –

There are beets and carrots that look like they belong in Alice in Wonderland; cross-sectioned tomatoes that look like skeletal x-rays, an orange peel snowing pectin dust, and a lobster that looks like it’s steaming another lobster.  A true feast for the eyes and fodder for the imagination.

2 responses

  1. Hi Lucy, thanks for stopping by! I posted a version of this with more photos (from the official press kit)on OS today; they’re really beautiful. I know– I don’t know when/where I might see the book set. Perhaps you could ask for a review copy? 🙂

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